Solutions By Design

Arc Flash Hazard Analysis

What Is An Arc Flash?


There is always a potential for electricity to jump from one wire to another.  Corrosion, lack of insulation, dust/air impurities may cause this to occur.  Another scenario is when a person makes contact between two conductors with a tool, bridging the gap.

The arc blast occurs when the arc fault heats up the conductor to the point of explosion. Copper and other metals vaporize. The blast can produce sound waves (130dB), debris, and temperatures close to 35,000 °F.  Arc flash accidents cause devastating injuries to employees and millions of dollars in damage to businesses every day. An arc flash analysis is crucial for personnel safety, and compliance with the NEC, NFPA 70E, and OSHA codes.


Why Do You Need An Engineering Firm?


Arc flash hazard calculations leave no room for error, and registered engineering firms are obligated to be accurate with calculations and conclusions.  Engineering firms are qualified to assess electrical systems accurately, where do-it-yourself packages are susceptible to errors and liability.  Engineering firms are licensed, insured, and have the protective equipment necessary to verify the characteristics of on-site electrical devices.  It is important to choose a firm that is experienced with electrical distribution system design, and the techniques of performing the complex calculations.


How Can BECI Help?


Arc flash hazard calculations leave no room for error, and registered engineering firms are obligated to be accurate with calculations and conclusions.BECI conducts a site visit with every arc flash hazard analysis.Since we are licensed and registered, we are responsible for completing an accurate analysis.We then take this data and analyze it to create an arc flash hazard one-line diagram.This diagram shows the arc flash hazard boundary distances, arc flash hazard incident energy, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for each respective electrical device.


B.E.C.I. provides two additional services while providing arc flash hazard analyses:

  1. Arc Flash Hazard Mitigation
  2. Arc Flash Hazard Analysis Training

 What Are The Electrical Codes Associated With Arc Flash Safety?

 NFPA 70 is the National Electric Code under the National Fire Protection Agency. NFPA 70E is the Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace. NFPA 70E requires the calculation and determination of an arc flash protection boundary. This imaginary boundary, which surrounds the potential arc point, specifies what level of personal protective clothing and equipment must be used by qualified workers who enter within that boundary. The arc flash hazard analysis shall be updated when a major modification or renovation takes place. It shall be reviewed periodically, not to exceed five years, to account for changes in the electrical distributions system that could affect the results of the arc flash hazard analysis.